What do you know about Menigitis?

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Last week the actress Tiffany Thornton spoke about her experience with Menigitis as part of an awareness campaign. In addition to Tiffany, a brave NJ mom named Olga Pasik spoke about the dramatic and unexpected death of her son. What I came away with was possibly some information that could save a life. Preventing these tragedies is possibly only one vaccination away.

Meningococcal meningitis, a form of meningococcal disease, is a serious bacterial infection. Unlike viral meningitis, it can potentially kill an otherwise healthy young person within 1 day after the first symptoms appear. Sanofi Pasteur, one of the two companies that make the vaccine, gathered media to Todd English's new restaurant near midtown to talk prevention. Here's the scoop 11 is the perfect age (7th grade) to vaccinate. Most health care plans cover the expense and most doctors will have the vaccine on hand.

I learned that the highest rates in infancy and adolescence'??with adolescence being more severe. Death rates aer high and survivors face amputation, hearing loss, organ failure and brain damage. Not a pretty picture.

Tiffany Thornton (So Random) a Disney Channel Star is one of the lucky ones. She contracted meningitis at 19 (a visit to a college campus may have been responsible). As the actress tells it, " I Felt fine one day, later that day had a migrane. I woke up at 3am in excruciating pain. I thought I had he flu or strep throat. Hours later I got out of bed collapsed, vomiting. It was as if someone tool a sledgehammer to every part of my body." Thanks to her mom's guess at the cause, Tiffany got the care she needed to fight off death.

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Teens like David Pasik weren't so lucky. And here's the thing. It's preventable. As of now close to half of teens have note been vaccinated. If you are planning back to school doctor appointments make a note in your calendar or iPhone to ask about this vaccine. Information is power.

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